This easy cinnamon rolls recipe makes soft, fluffy rolls smothered in tangy cream cheese frosting for the ultimate breakfast treat. These homemade cinnamon rolls are ready with just 1 hour of rising time!

A cinnamon roll topped with cream cheese frosting on a plate.

Quick Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

We love baking up a batch of fresh homemade cinnamon rolls on a weekend morning. On the days when we’re craving our favorite breakfast in a hurry, I make this easy cinnamon rolls recipe! This is a quick version of my family’s favorite overnight cinnamon rolls, with a 1-hour rise. Soft, fluffy, and smothered with sweet cream cheese icing, nobody can resist a warm-from-the-oven cinnamon roll. This recipe uses instant yeast, and there’s one rise instead of three, so these cinnamon rolls are ready in a fraction of the time. 

Why You’ll Love This Easy Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

  • Irresistibly soft and delicious. You won’t believe how melt-in-your-mouth, soft, and tender these homemade cinnamon rolls are. Served covered in cream cheese icing while they’re still warm, these are truly *chef’s kiss*.
  • Quick. You can’t beat the convenience of a one-hour rise. This recipe is great for weekends or easy afternoon baking. It’s the closest you’ll get to instant cinnamon rolls that are 100% homemade!
  • Easy to make. The dough uses easy ingredients and comes together with minimal kneading. Even if you’ve never made cinnamon rolls before, this recipe has you covered.
The ingredients for 1-hour cinnamon rolls.

Ingredient Notes

Below are some notes on the key ingredients you’ll need to make the best (and quickest!) homemade cinnamon rolls. Scroll down to the recipe card for a printable ingredients list.

  • Whole Milk – When it comes to making cinnamon rolls, whole milk is best. The added fat yields softer, more decadent rolls. However, if you have 2% milk, this will also work in a pinch.
  • Butter – I recommend baking with unsalted butter.
  • Instant Yeast I use instant yeast for these quick cinnamon rolls, and this type of yeast doesn’t require activation beforehand.
  • Brown Sugar and Cinnamon – To make the cinnamon sugar filling. I prefer to use light brown sugar, but regular brown sugar will also work. 
  • Cream Cheese – You’ll combine cream cheese with powdered sugar, melted butter, milk, and vanilla to make the cream cheese icing. Full-fat, room-temperature cream cheese yields the creamiest results.
A cinnamon roll cut in half on a plate.

How to Make Cinnamon Rolls

This easy cinnamon rolls recipe is the best breakfast treat. The whole house smells like a bakery and the rolls come out delectably light and flaky! Here’s a quick overview of the steps. Scroll to the recipe card for printable instructions. 

  • Make the dough. Start by dissolving sugar in warm milk (110°F-120°F). Meanwhile, whisk together the dry ingredients, including the instant yeast. Next, stir melted butter and a beaten egg into the dry ingredients, followed by the milk mixture. Continue beating the ingredients together to form the dough.
  • Knead and roll out the dough. Knead the dough on a floured surface until it’s nice and pliable. It shouldn’t take much kneading. Afterward, press and roll the dough into a large, flat rectangle. Mine is around 14×18 inches. It should be at least ¼-inch thick
  • Add the filling. Whisk together the cinnamon sugar filling. Spread butter over the dough, and press the filling over the butter. Leave a half-inch uncovered along one of the long edges, to seal the dough once it’s rolled up.
  • Roll and cut the cinnamon rolls. Next, roll the dough up into a long, tight log and seal it closed at the edge. Use a sharp knife (or floss) to cut the log into 12 even-sized cinnamon rolls.
  • Let the rolls rise. Arrange the cinnamon rolls in a greased or lined baking dish, then cover and leave the rolls to rise somewhere warm for about an hour, until they’re doubled in size. The exact rising time will vary depending on the temperature in your kitchen.
  • Bake. Finally, bake the cinnamon rolls at 375ºF for 20 to 24 minutes. Take the rolls out of the oven when they’re lightly golden. Leave them to cool for a bit before you frost them. 
Close up of baked cinnamon rolls in a ceramic dish.

Frosting the Cinnamon Rolls

Last but not least, it’s time to smother your freshly baked cinnamon rolls with delicious and easy homemade cream cheese icing.

  • Make the icing. Beat cream cheese with melted butter, milk, and vanilla, followed by the powdered sugar. Adjust the thickness of the frosting by adding more powdered sugar (for thicker frosting), or more milk as needed.
  • Frost the cinnamon rolls. Drizzle or smear the frosting over the warm cinnamon rolls, and serve!
A spoon drizzles cream cheese frosting over top freshly baked cinnamon rolls in a baking dish.

Tips for the Best Cinnamon Rolls

Keep these helpful tips and tricks in mind to ensure these easy cinnamon rolls come out perfect:

  • Use room temperature ingredients. Take fridge-cold ingredients like butter, milk, and eggs out about 20-30 minutes before you start, to let them come to room temperature. This makes them easier to combine with the rest of the ingredients.
  • Sift the flour. I highly recommend sifting your all-purpose flour for this recipe, this way it’s free of any lumps.
  • Speed up the rising time. If your room temperature is on the cooler side, let the rolls rise in the oven with the light on. Make sure to take the cinnamon rolls out before you preheat the oven for baking! Another baking hack is to run the dryer for 15-30 seconds, then place the rolls inside to rise.
  • Use a glass or ceramic baking dish. Metal baking pans can cause the bottoms of the rolls to brown too fast as they bake.
  • Make sure the pan is well-greased or lined. Coating the baking dish with a good layer of butter or shortening ensures that the rolls won’t stick as the sugar melts. I prefer to line my baking dish with parchment paper, as it makes for a quick and easy clean–up.
  • Use a serrated knife to cut the dough. It’s the easiest way to cut clean lines. Another trick is to use dental floss. Simply wrap the floss around the dough, and pull.

A cinnamon roll topped with cream cheese frosting on a plate next to a fork.

Variation Ideas

These fuss-free cinnamon rolls are delicious as is, but feel free to dress them up in any way that you’d like! Here are some easy variations to try:

  • Add nuts for crunch. Sprinkle over some finely chopped pecans, walnuts, or almonds before rolling up your cinnamon rolls.
  • Add Nutella. Make Nutella-filled cinnamon rolls and use chocolate hazelnut spread in place of butter inside the rolls. Super indulgent!
  • Caramel. Drizzle the rolls with caramel sauce or dulce de leche instead of cream cheese frosting.
  • Add spices. Try mixing pumpkin pie spice or cardamom into the brown sugar filling for something a little different.
A cinnamon roll cut in half on a plate.

Storing and Reheating Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

  • To Store. Homemade cinnamon rolls will keep fresh when stored airtight at room temperature for up to 2 days or refrigerated for up to 4 days.
  • Reheat. Leftover cinnamon rolls can be warmed in the microwave for serving. If you’re expecting lots of leftover rolls, consider storing them without the frosting so that it doesn’t melt on the reheat.
  • Freeze. Freeze the cooled cinnamon rolls in a freezer-safe container for up to 2 months. Defrost the rolls at room temperature before serving.

More Easy Breakfast Recipes

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A cinnamon roll topped with cream cheese frosting on a plate.

Easy Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

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  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Rising Time: 60 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12 rolls
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


This easy cinnamon rolls recipe is incredibly soft and fluffy, smothered in tangy cream cheese frosting, and takes only 1 hour of rising time. Enjoy perfect homemade cinnamon rolls in a fraction of the time!


For the Dough

  • 1 cup (236ml) milk (whole milk preferred)
  • ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup (48g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 ½ cups + 2 tablespoons (435g) all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast

For the Filling

  • ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ⅔ cup (147g) light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (7.5g) ground cinnamon

For the Frosting

  • ½ cup (113g) full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) milk
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (130g) powdered sugar, sifted


For the Dough

  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the milk for about 60 seconds until it reaches 110°F-120°F. Once heated, stir in the sugar until it’s dissolved. Melt the butter and cool.
  2. In a stand mixer, combine all the dry ingredients, including the yeast. Then add the melted butter and egg. Using the dough hook, beat the on low speed (speed 1) for 2 minutes. Slowly stream in the milk.
  3. Increase the mixing speed to medium and continue beating for another 5 minutes. The dough should be in one large ball but may stick to the sides of the bowl.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface. Gently knead until the dough is soft and pliable in one consistent ball. Use your hands to press the dough into a rectangle and roll the dough into a rectangle, about 14×18 inches. It should be at least ¼-inch thick.

For the Filling

  1. Spread the softened butter onto the dough from edge to edge. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl, and mix to combine. Pour the sugar mixture over the butter and press into the butter. Leave at least ½ -inch of the buttered dough uncovered with sugar on one of the long edges. This is the side you’ll use the seal the log after it’s rolled. 
  2. Tightly roll the dough along the longer edge to form a log, and use the buttered edge to pinch it closed. Use a sharp knife or floss to cut the rolls into 12 even rolls.
  3. Place the rolls in a well-greased (or parchment paper-lined) 9×13-inch pan. Cover with plastic wrap and rise for 60-90 minutes in a warm place.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Bake for 20-24 minutes until the tops are lightly browned. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes, then add the frosting.

For the Frosting 

  1. Beat the softened cream cheese until it’s free of lumps. Then add the melted butter, milk, and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Next, add the powdered sugar and beat until combined. If you prefer a thicker frosting, add additional powdered sugar 2 tablespoons at a time. To make it thinner, add additional milk 1-2 teaspoons at a time. Frost the rolls while they’re still warm.


  • For 1 tablespoon of yeast, you’ll need 2 individual packets (2 1/4 tsp size)
  • Rise time: Rise time will vary depending on the temperature of your home. Sometimes rising in the oven, with the light on can speed up the process (make sure you remove them before preheating!), or running your dryer for about 15-30 seconds and then placing them in the dryer.
  • Preparing the pan: Baking dishes should be greased with butter or shortening. Lining the pan with parchment paper is my preferred method, it makes the clean-up super easy. 
  • The best pans to use: I recommend using a glass or ceramic baking dish, as a metal baking dish will cause the bottoms of the rolls to brown much faster. 
  • Cutting the rolls: It is easiest to cut the dough with a sharp serrated knife or dental floss.
  • Storing leftovers: Homemade cinnamon rolls will keep fresh when stored airtight at room temperature for up to 2 days or refrigerated for up to 4 days. Storing unfrosted is my preference so it’s easy to reheat and add fresh frosting. To freeze the baked rolls, let them cool completely and then store the rolls in a freezer-safe container or bag.
  • Reheating leftovers: Individual cinnamon rolls can be reheated in the microwave for about 20 seconds. 


  • Serving Size: 1 Roll
  • Calories: 438
  • Sugar: 26.4 g
  • Sodium: 202.2 mg
  • Fat: 21.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 56.2 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 6.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 71.5 mg

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6 thoughts on “1 Hour Cinnamon Rolls”

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Peggy, No active dry yeast and quick rise or instant yeast are not the same, and do not perform the same way. The reason these are quicker to rise is due to the instant yeast. If you only have active dry yeast and still want to make this recipe, I recommend trying my overnight cinnamon rolls.